basis for morality (was Re: RITB and gay-marriage)

Bill Hamilton (hamilton@predator.cs.gmr.com)
Wed, 17 Jul 1996 09:18:02 -0400

Joseph Carson wrote:

>If mankind is a product of chance and necessity, our thoughts, dreams,
>passions, etc the accidental byproduct of collocations of atoms, in a
>decaying universe - what difference does it make, ultimately? That the
>grand metaphysical story of naturalism's relentless outcome, except that
>outcome does make sense either as upon what basis can we assume any ability
>to reason that is valid?
>
>Without a transcendant from which we can establish a "ground zero,"
> we seem stuck in box after self-referential box. At least that's how I've
>come to see it.

Agreed. Interestingly enough, though, this point is one of great
disagreement between Christians and nonbelievers. Similar statements
posted to talk.origins elicit about as angry a response as anything you can
imagine. Skeptics, agnostics and atheists for the most part seem to view
morality as something theists don't have a corner on, and are frequently
deeply offended when a theist implies that they have no basis for it.
However, I have never heard one give a coherent explanation of _why_ he
believes morality is relevant. I suppose this is just a manifestation of
Francis Schaeffer's claim that no one can live consistently according to an
atheistic philosophy, but my question is a more practical one: How can we
utilize this belief in morality without basis in apologetics?

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